It is below freezing outside and the snow is piling up fast... but is your horse cold? How can you tell? Here are some quick tips to determine if your horse is cold and crabby, or warm and toasty.
This is an easy one - if your horse is shivering, it is cold! Shivering expends a lot of energy and can make your horse burn calories and drop weight. Shivering can also cause a horse to become muscle sore. If you find your horse shivering, it is best to bring your horse inside, or add a blanket, until they have warmed up.
Tail tucking is a more discreet sign of a cold horse. If your horse has their tail clamped against their rear end, it is likely they are cold. To test this, try to gently lift your horse's tail away from them. Be sure to stay out of kick range! If there is resistance to you lifting the tail, the horse might be cold.
Is your horse suddenly a grumpy gus? He might be cold. Irritability is a sign your horse is uncomfortable and not warm enough. Ear pinning, teeth snapping, swishing the tail, and even pacing can be a sign the horse is cold. These can also be signs of pain, so if your horse still shows these signs after being warmed up, contact your vet.
I hope these tips help keep the winter blues away from your horse. Just remember... spring is coming, and winter never lasts forever!
The Info Pony